Jack Garratt is the textbook definition of an artist on the rise. Hailing from London, the 24-year-old multi-instrumentalist has quickly gained fans across the globe with a pair of EPs and another pair of singles over the last year. He’s gone on to open for megastars like Mumford and Sons while simultaneously selling out his own solo headlining shows across Europe and America. Using only his own musical and production gifts, he crafts a sound that sits somewhere between alternative indie music and the current R&B vogue, something that’s as likely to draw comparisons to Disclosure as Ed Sheeran.
On new single “Breathe Life”, however, he’s presenting another case that making comparisons is a fools errand. At first glance, the cut is a watery slice of rhythm and blues, a slinking sexuality and snapping coolness slowly building underneath. As the chorus comes in, however, guitars reveal shades of funk and piano adds a theatrical pacing. By the time the halfway mark comes around, the whole thing has been reborn as an electronic storm of fuzzy synths and thumping low end.
You’re never quite sure where the instrumentation is going to turn next, but thankfully, Garratt’s breathless coo is there to lead you through the maze, singing “Oh, won’t you breathe life into these dead lungs/ I keep under my coat/ And keep life warm against the cold night as our bodies grow old.”
“‘Breathe Life’ is a song that came out of nothing,” Garratt tells Consequence of Sound. “I was stressing in the studio, panicking on my own as I usually do and this song came out of the room to hug me and let me know that for now, I was gonna be ‘ight.”
Take a listen to “Breathe Life” below, and stay tuned for Garratt’s full-length debut, Phase, out February 19th, 2016 via Island Records.